There’s no denying it, Instagram is a hugely popular social channel with over 1 billion daily active users. But what started as a platform where people go to escape reality is now becoming a platform for more authentic content.
Today users are a lot more switched on with what’s real and what could be classed as ‘fake’ thanks to things like paid partnerships, and fake followers/engagement hitting the headlines over the last few months.
Gone are they days users want to be served unrealistic and unattainable content, with photoshop and access to hundreds of filters blurring the lines between fantasy and real life.
In 2018, a trend for more genuine content began and a whole 1.9 million of us said hello to Mrs Hinch, (Sophie Hinchcliffe), who shot to fame when she started documenting her cleaning habits and amassed an army of like minded followers aka ‘Hinchers’.
Mrs Hinch is a prime example of how coming across unapologetically real on social media is much more engaging. Like we say to our clients, engagement is more important than follower numbers. There’s no point having hundreds of thousands of followers if they aren’t engaging with and digesting your content. By being yourself and being honest, you are opening yourself up for people to connect with you on a more personal level.
Mrs Hinch set up her Instagram account last year to share images of her home and used ‘Stories’ to share videos of her cleaning her house, giving tips and sharing product recommendations. She instantly became a hit among users through shares and word of mouth and quickly grew an online community through the use of the hashtag #HinchArmy. Her followers love how genuine she is and her page is full of real pictures that are not overly edited and show off her personality.
The low-cost products that she recommends are flying off shelves across the country and the cloths and ‘tools’ she uses are selling out faster than they can be made. Cleaning is now recognised as ‘Hinching’ or ‘Pinching’ according to Poundland who recently launched their own spin off campaign, ‘Mrs Pinch’ to promote their cleaning products.
Here are our three top tips on being ‘authentic’ on Instagram:
1) Be genuine Instagram is crammed full of celebrities who are created after short stints on reality TV shows, all selling teeth whitening products and protein powder. Grow popularity organically from followers who want to engage with real and relatable content. Show your personality and stay true to yourself and your interests.
2) Make a difference 2019 is the year where people want to start making a difference. People are more aware of things like mental health and the environment, by creating content around topical things people will naturally want to find out more. Mrs Hinch is a prime example of this, she regularly shares messages on her ‘Stories’ from people who are struggling with anxiety who have followed her tips and discovered a newfound passion and outlet for their issues. By acknowledging and sharing the stories of others on her account she is encouraging a sense of positivity amongst her followers and fostering a sense of belonging.
3) Build a community This is a great way to make your audience feel part of something and it’s something Mrs Hinch has excelled at. The products she uses are cheap and easily accessible from high street stores like Quality Save and B&M, meaning anyone can buy them, she’s appealing to the masses. Followers are using hashtags such as #MrsHinchMadeMeDoit, #HinchArmy and #HinchHaul - they are engaging with each other and supporting each other and she is constantly interacting with them and encouraging her audience to share their cleaning tips, favourite products (Hinch hauls) and images of their own clean homes. Collectively the hashtags have been used over 191,276 times on Instagram alone! If you want to find out more about creating online communities take a look at our Bear Grylls case study where we built a community for his fans using the hashtag #TheAdventurers.
2019 is definitely the year we see a rise in these more genuine accounts, others increasing in popularity include David Cyril an 86 year old Slimming World member posting his weight loss journey on Instagram and Emma Conway (@Brummymummyof2) who documents every day life as a mum of two young children.